The marshlands of Mangalajodi situated in the northern end of Chilka Lake is home to many migratory birds, water birds and local birds of that particular place. Other than the lagoon, this bird sanctuary is another attraction of Chilka. It is also known as fisherman's village. This impressive bird life is the upcoming hub for bird lovers.
Migratory birds are seen here from October to March. These birds arrive from Iraq, Iran, Serbia and the Himalayas. 135 variety of birds are seen here during this season. The sustainable village of Mangaljodi houses fishermen communities. Local people depend on the aquatic life for their living.
It is one of the best known places for eco-tourism. Boat safaris are conducted, which will give an opportunity to have a glimpse of birds like Black Winged Stilts, Sandpipers, Purple Swamphens, Open Billed Storks and Glossy Ibises. Variety of fishes, prawns, crabs and other fresh seafood can be tasted.
Chilka Lake spreads across an area of 1100 sq. km and lies at the mouth of the River Daya. This salt water lake is classified as a wetland. The lake becomes the home to many migratory birds in the winter, which come from places like Caspian Sea, Iran, Russia and far off Siberia.
It is estimated that 205 species of birds visit this lake in the migratory season. Out of these, 97 species of the avian creatures are intercontinental migrants.
There are many small islands that the Chilka Lake holds in. A visit to these islands will cherish one all through life. The Birds Island, Honeymoon Island, Parikud Island, Breakfast Island, Malud Island, Nirmaljhara Island, Kalijai Island and Nalabana, which can be translated to Island of Reeds, are some of the important ones.
The Kalijai Island houses a temple dedicated to Goddess Kalijai and hence it stands as a place of Hindu pilgrimage and remains crowded all throughout the year. The festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated in this temple.
In the vicinity of the confluence of the lake and sea, lies the Rijhansa Island. This island boasts of having a panoramic beach. The essence of the Chilka Lake can be felt by a boat ride from Satpada, Balugaon, Rambha and Barkul.